1.1 Purpose of Research

What do you think of when you hear the word “Research”? Trying to seek answers to a question is research. Interestingly, we apply research in our daily lives without realising it. For example, developing a creative sushi recipe or deciding on buying a house requires research. If everyday activities require research, then what is research? The Cambridge dictionary defines research as a thorough investigation of a topic or subject to learn new information or develop knowledge of it.1 According to Francis Dane (1990), research is a critical process that involves asking and attempting to answer questions about the world.2 Sometimes, asking and trying to answer questions could include using a questionnaire, an interview, an experiment, and sometimes an entirely new method. Research as a process is a valuable tool that allows us to examine all the qualities of something or a topic – good, bad, or indifferent.2 Therefore, it is important to critically evaluate the answers we receive because not every answer we obtain is correct or applicable to certain situations, even when it is a popular opinion.2 Thus, research helps us to demystify myths.

To explain this further, consider and respond to the case below:

You are a second-year pharmacy student on placement at the local pharmacy. Mrs C, a 70-year-old resident of the town, is your first client for the day, and she is a type 2 diabetic patient who has come to buy medications. She tells you that she heard about a new drug that helps to balance blood sugar levels for people with diabetes, and she was wondering if your pharmacy had supplies of this medication. When she shared the name of the drug with you, you were not sure if it was approved for the treatment of diabetes as it was not a familiar name, and your pharmacy does not stock the medication. Nonetheless, you decided to look up research done to confirm its authenticity. Your search showed that the drug was a supplement advertised as a treatment for diabetes but had been recently flagged by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Agency (TGA) as an unapproved treatment for diabetes. This scenario portrays that not every advertised drug is safe for use, and it emphasises the importance of research to create new knowledge. How would you communicate this to Mrs C?

Use the Padlet below to articulate your viewpoint.

What do you think are the possible reasons for and benefits of doing research? The video below highlights the purpose and benefits of research in the healthcare setting.

Task: Watch the video [2:17] and use the Padlet to write down at least three reasons for doing research in a healthcare setting.



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An Introduction to Research Methods for Undergraduate Health Profession Students Copyright © 2023 by Faith Alele and Bunmi Malau-Aduli is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.